Monday, 23 October 2017

Tafsan 

 

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TOPIC: ISLAM AND THE GIRL CHILD

 

We seek refuge in Allah from the accursed shaytan and start in the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Alhamdulillah. We thank him for making it possible for us to see another Friday.

 

We bear witness that there is no God but Allah, alone without any partners, and we bear witness that Muhammad (SAW) is His servant and His Messenger.

 

The 11th of October every year is dedicated to the girl child and as we commemorate this day, our jumuat sermon would be dedicated to the perspectives of Islam on the girl child.

 

The Islamic religion accords children a revered position in that they are the future of the ummah and the girl child more importantly enjoys a more revered position one because of the future role of being a wife and a mother.

 

The pre-Islamic period in Arabia was characterized with what has come to be known in Islamic history as female infanticide, the Arabs burying their female children alive. The Qur’an was clear in its condemnation of this barbaric act: “On the Day of Judgment ‘When the infant girl buried alive is asked,’ for what crime she was killed.”(Quran, 81:8-9)

 

Children are gifts of God and His great blessing, but the birth of a girl child is generally seen as disgraceful. The son is preferred over a daughter.  This is totally against the teachings of Islam.

 

Many incidents reported these days from various parts of the world give us the impression that we, at least in terms of the treatment of women, are going back to a time identical to the ignorance period, the age before the emergence of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

 

Allah says in the Quran:

“And when the good news is given to any of them of a daughter, His face turns dark and he is filled with grief.”(Quran, 16:58)

 

In Arabia, the custom of killing female children was very common. The Holy Prophet (SAW) made it unlawful and cautioned parents that there would be a severe punishment for this act on the Day of Judgment. They killed their children for three reasons and the Quran has mentioned all the three. First, they sacrificed their children at the altar of their gods to please them: “And likewise, to many of the polytheists their partners have made [to seem] pleasing the killing of their children in order to bring about their destruction and to cover them with confusion in their religion.” (Quran, 6:137)

 

Second, they killed their children for fear of poverty. The Quran cautioned them against this and made it absolutely unlawful for anyone to kill his children: “…do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them.” (Quran, 6:151).

 

And again, in chapter 17 ‘The Night Journey,’ we find these words,

 

“Do not kill your offspring for fear of want: for it is We Who provide for them and for you as well. Indeed their killing is a heinous excuse.”(Quran, 17:31)

 

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: ‘He, who brought up two girls properly till they grew up, he and I would come (together) (very closely) on the Day of Resurrection, and he interlaced his fingers (for explaining the point of nearness between him and that person)’.

 

The combination of a strong cultural preference for boys and pre-natal ultrasound imaging has led to couples identifying and aborting female fetuses so that their only permitted child is male.

 

The Quran mentions this in connection with accountability on the Day of Judgment when the murderer of the girl child will be questioned as to why they killed their daughter:

 

“On the Day of Judgment ‘When the infant girl buried alive is asked,’ for what crime she was killed.” (Quran, 81:8-9)

 

Once a man narrated to the Prophet (SAW) something gruesome that he had done, following the pre-Islamic practice of female infanticide, he had taken his daughter to the desert and, after placing her in a ditch, had started to bury her alive. The innocent little girl had cried out “Daddy! Daddy!”, but the man ignored her cries. The Prophet, visualizing this tragedy, was overcome by emotions and tears.

 

There are many sayings of the Prophet (SAW) wherein he has promised a great reward from Allah for bringing up female children nicely and with care. “If anyone has a female child and does not bury her alive, or slight her, or prefer his children (i.e., the male ones) to her, Allah will bring him to Paradise.” And, according to Aishah (RTA) the Prophet (SAW) said, “If anyone has suffered at all respecting these girls and treats them well, they will be a covering for him from Hell.”

 

This sermon should not end with a call to Muslims on supporting the girl child as Muslims are not so visible in the various interventions being done by a couple of the NGOs in supporting the cause of the girl child. Muslim philanthropists should see this as a priority and thus float and fund such interventions.

 

May Allah make it easy for us.